The Ministry of Education released information about COVID health and safety guidelines for the upcoming school year.
As you continue with your summer activities, the health, well-being and safety of students, educators, and the broader community remain top of mind for the ministry as we look to supporting a safe return to in-person learning for the 2022-23 school year.
As announced on July 13, 2022, the province, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is expanding eligibility for second booster doses to Ontarians aged 18 and over in order to provide an extra layer of protection to those who may need it.
Starting on Thursday, July 14, eligible individuals can book an appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. Eligible individuals can also book an appointment directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, Indigenous-led vaccination clinics and participating pharmacies. Appointments are based on availability, which may vary by region.
While most individuals aged 18 to 59 years old will continue to have strong protection more than six months after their first booster dose, expanding second booster dose eligibility will ensure that Ontarians can make an informed decision based on their personal circumstances.
Second booster doses are being offered at an interval of five months after an individual receives their first booster dose. A new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is anticipated to be approved by Health Canada this fall, which may offer more targeted protection against the Omicron variants. Ontarians are encouraged to speak with their health care provider about whether getting a second booster dose now is right for them.
We would also encourage individuals to use this time to speak with their health care provider and get caught up on any immunizations that may have been missed over the course of the pandemic. Local public health units are offering catch up clinics for many missed vaccine doses, especially those offered to students in grade 7.
Vaccines are safe, effective and continue to be our best defence against COVID-19 and other serious illnesses and will help ensure a return to more normal conditions for the 2022-2023 school year. As we look forward to September, we are fully committed to ensuring all students return to the classroom on time, with the full school experience that students deserve.